Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why Did You Paint Over That?

As a painter of wood furniture, I've received my share of "why did you paint that?" emails. People get very sentimental over grandpa's wood armoire or Aunt Betty's antique hutch.  I have to chuckle every time someone sends me an email upset that I painted over this little armoire. They just keep coming....
This was my grandpa's armoire that he used to put his day sweaters in.  He lived in a large row house in  Brooklyn and this sat in the downstairs kitchen.  His bedroom was several flights up so it made sense that he kept this downstairs.  Anyway, I had this for a long time (in my attic, my garage, the basement) because it just didn't fit anywhere with it's brown wood.  It was kind of an "odd piece out" if you know what I mean.
Then I decided to paint it.  The inside is beautiful cedar - which I never really paid attention to....cuz it just didn't stand out.  Once I painted it, the cedar on the inside popped out. The whole piece popped out!  It went from ugly brown nothing to beautiful, curvy, romantic something.  This piece is now a beautiful addition to a bedroom and a treasured piece that I can actually use.

So why the "not so nice" emails?  Why are people upset that I painted this?  I get it that some pieces are worth a lot of money kept "as is".  But if you don't use it and you aren't selling it, it becomes worthless in my opinion.  Now, if you truly have a beautiful antique piece that is worth a lot of money, or you don't know if it is worth a lot of money - get it appraised and if you want to sell it - go for it.  Don't de-value a true antique or a piece that is worth a lot of money and have painters remorse. I get that.  But if you aren't using it......what's the point of having it?

I love how this piece turned out and I love that I get to use it.  It makes me happy when I see it.  For years....I forgot I even had this piece.  So why can't people be happy that I'm happy? :)

In the end, it's wood.  Wood can be stripped and furniture can always be restored.  If you have an expensive antique...keep it as is or sell it.  If you have other furniture that you don't use but could use....go for it.

I can honestly say I have zero remorse in painting this piece.  It was the right choice for me and I'm happy about it.

I bet you have some old pieces stuck in your attic or garage and you aren't using them because they don't work in your house right? You can't fathom painting over them because they are antiques right?  Hmmm......keep them stored away forever or paint them and actually use them?  I'll let you decide what to do with that.  :)